This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018.
Believe It, You Matter, Part XI: Convince your friends and family that they matter.
If we’re going to deliver the rebuke that Trump sorely needs in November, it can’t be just you who goes to the polls.
You can have a broader impact by talking to friends and family about the need to vote in the fall, and helping them complete the steps to make sure they’re able to vote in the fall.
First off, you have been talking to them about voting, yes? If not, school yourself with these links:
Talk to them, and keep talking to them.
In order to be successful, you may have to do some work for them. Remember how little you knew about elections and government when you kicked into action? Yeah, they might know less, and if you end up giving them what amounts to homework, you can’t be sure they’ll follow through. Take as much of the work out of the process as possible.
Let me be blunt. You have to be their voting concierge. Their voting butler. Their voting valet. DO THE WORK FOR THEM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Make it easy.
Help them learn if they’re registered to vote:
If they aren’t, help them get registered. That might mean helping them apply for documents they need to obtain IDs. Be prepared to do that. Consider taking time off work to help them.
They may not know which races are in play, or who the candidates are. You might need to teach yourself who’s running, especially if your friends and family don’t live where you live. Can you do that work? Can you ready yourself for their questions?
They may not know where to go to vote come November 6, 2018. The best way to do that is to look up the website for the secretary of state of your friend or family member’s home state. It should have a section on voting and elections that will help you both find the specific current polling place.
They may not know how they’re getting to the polls on November 6, 2018. Help them figure it out. If you can offer to drive them, do it. If you can arrange for cab fare, set it aside.
Again, it can’t just be you going to the polls in the fall. You need to encourage as many people as possible to follow your lead.
The more who vote, the greater the chances we have to push back against Trump in a fiercely powerful way.